With a Few Mouse Clicks to an Efficient Motor Control Design

Posted on 01 February 2019

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Application code generator makes FOC implementation an easy task

With the XC878/886/888 MCUs the XC800 family from Infineon includes the industry first 8-bit microcontrollers providing the powerful Field Oriented Control (FOC) for complex and very efficient motor control applications. This advanced motor control technique will improve consumer and industrial drives addressing higher efficiency, better dynamic response and reduced audible noise.

By Juergen Hoika, Infineon Technologies

 

Application kits and powerful tools support the fast and easy implementation of the new motor control techniques. Using the DaveDrive automation code generator designers get a customized code reflecting choice of motor, speed and various control options for high efficient motor control designs with a few mouse clicks only.

According to a study from Energy Information Administration (EIA) in 2007 a third of the world-wide energy consumption is accounted by electric energy which amounts to about 16.4 million Giga watt hours in the year 2004. The forecast is that this figure doubles until 2030. One of the major energy reduction measures is using electronics in inverters which could gain savings of 30-40% in motor control applications. By the adoption of variable speed drives using advanced control techniques like FOC, the world-wide consumption of electricity could be lowered by over 20%. Advanced control schemes like FOC allows manufacturers to reduce the size of the motor required, yielding higher efficiency, better dynamic response and lower torque ripple. The benefits offered by FOC in combination with a cost effective 8-bit MCU predestinate this solution for motor control developers seeking ways to meet energy regulations and contain pricing pressure. The DaveDrive automation code generator is the answer to shorter time-to-markets and paves the way to sophisticated and power efficient motor control designs.

FOC for improved motor efficiency

The 8-bit MCUs of the XC800 family offer scalable solutions for different types of motor control methods ranging from block commutation, FOC and both FOC and PFC (Power Factor Control) for complex motor drives. Field-Oriented Control, a technique for operating electric motors that results in smooth and energy efficient operation at all speeds is increasingly being adopted for consumer and industrial motor control. Achieving this efficient method of control with a lowcost but highly optimized 8-bit microcontroller redefines the economic models for developers of appliances and other motor-controlled products such as fans, pumps and compressors. FOC is currently implemented on the 8-bit XC886, XC888 and XC878 MCUs by combining a 8051 core and a so called “Vector Computer”, which performs 16- bit arithmetic operations. This vector computer is build by two parallel operating units: The MDU, a 16-bit multiply and divide unit, and the CORDIC, a 16-bit coprocessor dedicated for vector rotation and angular calculations. Unlike most competitive FOC implementations that are hard-coded, the solutions based on XC800 8-bit microcontrollers offer the added benefit of software reprogrammability to give the developers more versatile application options.

Using FOC the efficiency of an electrical motor can be increased by up to 95%, providing less power consumption, less noise and excellent torque dynamics. To drive the implementation and execution of FOC an optimized microcontroller architecture and ease of use tools to reduce time to market are prerequisites.

The 8-bit MCUs XC886, XC888 and XC878 provide advanced motor drive capability by combining up to 64KByte

Application focused development support

Application focused systems are very helpful when an engineer has been tasked with expanding a company's design capabilities. For example, a company that produces electronic controls for brushed DC motors may need to move to more efficient brushless DC (BLDC) motors quickly for some newer product lines. The best solution for rapid development and demonstration would be to find a system that is easy to use, self-contained, includes an IDE and application software and also provides fairly extensive documentation. With all the needed elements, including the BLDC motor, the design team can demonstrate the working technology. The solution is general and still needs to be adapted to the target products but the basic feature set is in place.

Two major topics are influencing the easy-of-use of today’s microcontrollers for software developers: The quality of the software tool chain and the availability of reference designs. Microcontroller families are supported by the full suite of development tools, including evaluation boards, debuggers, compilers and documentation. Configuration tools like DAvE (Digital Application virtual Engineer) help to program microcontrollers by offering intelligent wizards. DAvE allows to configure the chip to work the way it is needed and automatically generate C-code with appropriate driver functions for all of the on-chip peripherals and interrupt controls – interacting directly with compiler IDE's. Pre-installed ready-to-run examples, the step-by-step guideline, and further advanced tools, such as automatically generated start-up code can help a designer get started in a very productive way.

Auto-code generators, for example, are another important key for a quick start up from purchasing the microcontroller to turning the motor. Infineon’s newest auto-code generator for motor control is launched: DAvE Drive version 2. It shortens the evaluation time for motor control developers significantly as the motor control code can be generated via a GUI instead of handwriting some thousands lines of code. It provides hardware engineers the access to know-how in control techniques of electronic systems. And it uses the full power of the related microcontroller, e.g. it generates optimized FOC code for XC886 using its vector computer, which usually requires expert knowledge in both motor control and assembler programming.

The next level of support is to provide an entire reference system comprising microcontrollers, sensors and power devices as a perfect platform for training, evaluation and start of development as the kit can be directly connected to the application, such as a 3-phase-motor.

DaveDrive version 2 shortens the evaluation time for motor control developers

DAvE Drive application code generator

DAvE Drive is an application centric add-on to DAvE which provides initialization, configuration and driver code to ease programming for beginners as well as experts. This tool generates complete algorithms in source code (C and Assembler), ready to be compiled and debugged by popular tools, as Keil or Tasking compiler.

Today DAvE Drive is available for the XC800 MCU family. It helps to reduce the software development time for various motor controls like for BLDC or PMSM (Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor) due to quick and easy configuration of complex peripherals. Designers of motor controls can quickly focus on application-specific software, such as the programming of a cooling fan or water pump, thus allowing rapid prototyping. Compared to competitive configuration tools, the DAvE Drive software flexibly generates complete algorithms and does not derive from libraries. Additionally, it provides flexible code generation for customer selected motors, thus reducing system design time by about one man-year while allowing differentiation by system variations.

DaveDrive supports the easy step-by-step configuration of the control algorithm

DaveDrive supports both BLDC and PMSM motor types and different control algorithms:

Block commutation with hall sensors and sensorless FOC. Either motor types in the motor type library can be used or the user can add the characteristics of the motor such as nominal voltage, phase inductance and resistance to the library. Different control schemes (open loop, speed control, current control or speed inner current control) are supported. The tool generates highly optimized motor control algorithms, utilizing the features of the microcontroller’s Vector Computer (XC800 family).

A detailed user manual can be compressed into a few mouse clicks. The kit helps designers to quickly and easily implement advanced motor control techniques on low-cost components or enable experts a fast way to evaluate the benefits of the microcontroller’s architecture. By making DAvE Drive available as a free download, customers of all company sizes can quickly implement advanced motor control techniques using Infineon’s powerful components for motor control.

Complete DaveDrive development environment in one box

Complete kit

A scalable Low Voltage PMSM-Motor Drive Kit is supported by the new DAvE Drive Version 2. The complete DaveDrive application kit (KIT_AK_DaveDrive_V2) provides a scalable MCU solution with a drive card featuring the XC886 8-bit MCU with vector computer, power board for up to 400W power rating (22-56VDC, 7.5A) and the DriveMonitor USB-CAN bridge for real time monitoring. A free tool chain including SDCC compiler and an IDE is available to start development without limitations.

DAvE Drive is available as a free download at www.infineon.com/davedrive

 

 

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